THOSE WHO ARE MISTREATEDContinue to remember those…who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
~ Hebrews 13:3b (NIV)
As we see in Hebrews chapter twelve, once we “keep our eyes fixed on Jesus,” we will be aware of how we should then live. The writer now turns to the issue of remembering those who are mistreated. And again he adds an empathy and personalized application. Remember them as if you yourself were the one suffering!
Dr. Jan Pit often shared the poignant story of a young Christian in Egypt he met named Timothy. Through the Christian radio broadcasts of Trans World Radio Timothy was introduced to Jesus whom he received into his heart and began to follow.
But when he shared his new faith with his Muslim family, they reacted so strongly that he was told to leave home and never come back. After several years of living with other Christians, he decided to try and make contact with his family again. On his mother’s birthday, he bought some flowers and walked to his family’s home. When he knocked on the door, his mother opened it.
“Happy birthday, Mother!” Timothy said. “I brought you these flowers because I love you!” Timothy’s mother turned to him with a stern look and said, “I don’t know who you are!” And she slammed the door.
Timothy said to Jan with tears streaming down his face, “I don’t have a family any more. Will you be my family?”
Today you can be a surrogate family for Christians treated this way. You can also remember to pray for Christians like fifteen-year-old Shirin who has gone through a difficult time of persecution.
When Shirin became a believer he also met with much opposition from his relatives. They shouted at him, threatened him and finally gave him a choice: Jesus or the family.
He chose Jesus and then left his home. He was living on the streets; alone, hungry and very poor. A local Christian saw him, had pity on him and took him into his house.
“Shirin loves God with all his heart! His mother and father are in prison now for being drug addicts, but he is witnessing to many about God’s great love which has been revealed to him.
RESPONSE: Today I will remember those believers who are mistreated and do everything possible to assist them in the way I would want assistance if I was in their shoes.
PRAYER: Lord grant me empathy and a giving heart for those being severely persecuted today.
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.